In lieu of fresh tomatoes, I make my own tomato sauce from whole tomatoes that have been canned. I check the ingredients for sodium content and any preservatives. I use this tomato sauce recipe for pasta, squash, as bread dip and pizza sauce. When I make a large batch, I plan my dinners accordingly for the next several days, which eases up the length of time spent preparing in the kitchen. (For example: Day 1: pasta and sauce, Day 2: Pizza and salad, Day 3: soup and breadsticks with tomato sauce for dipping.)
- 2 large can whole tomatoes (28 oz)
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 onion finely diced
- 1 grated carrot (adds sweetness to sauce)
- 1-2 cups of fresh spinach
- 3 cloves of garlic
- 2 bay leaves
- sprig of parsley chopped
- 1Tbsp Italian seasoning
- 2 tsp of salt (I add less as we are trying to cut back on salt)
- 1 tsp pepper
- In a dutch oven or large sauce pot heat olive oil on medium heat. Add onions and carrot and cook until onions are translucent. Add garlic, let it cook for a minute, then add tomatoes, seasonings salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat, cover and simmer. Add additional seasoning as desired.
- Simmer for about an hour. Remove bay leaves then add spinach. Let spinach cook in sauce until it wilts. Remove sauce from heat.
- Working in batches, pour sauce into a blender or food processor and blend until sauce is to your consistency preference. (Or use a potato masher to break up whole tomatoes in pot. The sauce will have a chunky texture.)